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Two young men beat murder rap

Two young men beat murder rap


Shanroy Browne says he plans to change and do something with his life.{{more}}

Browne, 23, of Mesopotamia uttered these words to SEARCHLIGHT shortly after beating a murder charge on Tuesday morning at the High Court.

“Jail is a place way teach you a lot of things. I just kept hoping and praying and now I free, I’m going to change my life and do something worthwhile,” he said.

His former co-accused, Jevon Hamlet, of Cane End was also freed of the murder of Lisbon Lavia of Sandy Bay, which took place on December 19, 2010, at Heritage Square.

Asked how he felt after being free, Hamlet replied, “I happy for today.”

Following no-case submissions by the men’s counsel, Kay Bacchus-Browne and Lyndon George, Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle ruled that a case was not made out against the men to have a jury decide their fate.

The judge then withdrew the matter against both men and instructed the jury to return a not guilty verdict for both men.

In his ruling, Bruce-Lyle said he carefully analyzed the arguments put forward by Bacchus-Browne and George and the response from the Director of Public Prosecution, Colin Williams.

Justice Bruce-Lyle ruled that there was no evidence adduced by any of the prosecution witnesses as to how the second altercation, leading to the death of the deceased, started.

“There is no evidence of who provoked who or who initiated any fight, considering the evidence in the trial…,” he said.

Lavia, 20, succumbed to a stab to his neck on December 19, at Heritage Square, after a fight broke out between Lavia and a group of men, which resulted in his death.

The judge pointed out that the deceased had a history of attacking Hamlett, causing him bodily harm.

According to Bruce-Lyle, there was no evidence that Hamlett had stabbed the deceased.

“There is evidence that at the time of the stabbing, Jevon Hamlett was nowhere around… Not even the prosecution star witness, an associate of the deceased, said that he saw Shanroy Browne at the scene. He said it was a tall, dark fellow who stabbed the deceased. He never pointed to or identified Shanroy Browne as the one who did the stabbing,” he added.

The judge further noted that the testimony of the prosecution star witness was unreliable. Bruce-Lyle said there were glaring inconsistencies between his deposition at the Preliminary Inquiry and testimony at the trial.

“In this court’s mind, these inconsistencies and inability to answer pertinent questions put to him by the DPP raise serious questions as to whether this evidence should be left to the jury. It is so unreliable, that a jury properly directed will have no difficulty in disbelieving this witness…,” Bruce-Lyle stated.

He said there was no doubt in his mind that the deceased was in a rage at the time and stated that he was told to leave Heritage Square that night.

While Hamlett was armed with a machete, that did not cause the fatal wound to his neck.

“There is no evidence led at this trial that Shanroy Browne had a weapon, except the

piece of evidence that had him holding a bar stool, which from the evidence he never used in any

manner to strike the deceased,” Bruce-Lyle continued.

“So, who was this tall, dark man who inflicted that fatal stab to the neck of the deceased? None of the prosecution’s evidence suggests any of the accused.”

A third man, Romel Diamond, who was also charged with both men, was discharged sometime during the trial.

The judge added that no forensic test was carried out on the knife Romel Diamond had that night to see if there were traces of blood on the knife to rule him out effectively as not being the one who stabbed the deceased.

“In this day and age of forensic technology, it boggles my mind that this test was not carried out. None of the exhibits were tested. I find a lot to be desired in the handling of this case from the inception.

“Because of the tenuous and unreliable nature of evidence, I exercise my discretion to withdraw the case from the jury. There is and should be no room for speculation as to what exactly happened,” the judge ruled.

Bruce-Lyle told the men that they should count themselves lucky and urged them to desist from engaging in gang activity.